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Discover the Net Worth of Your Network

by Donna Messer

What is the net worth of your network? And how do you determine just how to move from knowing each other to working together on joint ventures and alliances? How do you use networking to find a job or change careers? It’s all about discovering the net worth of your network and using it wisely.

The first piece of advice for anyone is that today networking is all about using social media wisely. Your dealings with someone met through networking on the Internet, must be treated exactly the same way as you would when dealing with someone you met through a conference or other business-related venture.

I use the acronym below to make it simple.

What’s the Net Worth of your Network?

Networking is all about building the rapport that makes a positive interaction possible between two people. It can begin with an online connection. LinkedIn is an excellent beginning if used property. Take time to find common interests.  Build a business relationship that will bring value and increased profit to you and your new connection.

Evaluate what you need versus what you have to offer. If this connection offers you a potential career opportunity, find out if there is anything you can do for them. Give as well as get and your net worth will increase dramatically.   

Take time to insure that you get to know the real person; the overview isn’t always complete. Be specific. How can you help each other? Agree that each of you is willing to share resources. 

Working together to build that relationship isn’t just networking with each other. You need to consider your communication styles. Do you both communicate in the same way? Are you auditory, visual or kinesthetic? 

Organize your thoughts and your needs. Recognize your opportunities. Use your strengths and maximize those of the person you’ve just met in person or on the web. Don’t abuse each other – give value and expect to receive value in return. 

Recognize that very much like a marriage, when you build a networking relationship, you will grow and develop at different speeds and you won’t always seem to be running in tandem.

Think of ways to build an alliance, a partnership, or a joint venture. Often this is the best way to move your career forward.  Be clear on what you bring to the table.  Be honest with yourself and your colleague – why are you considering this relationship and will it benefit both sides?

Honesty is the best partner in every relationship. Be prepared to share your integrity and your resources. For an alliance, a partnership or a joint venture to work – both sides must come together willing to share sources of information and above all else to be honest with each other.

Networking is the key to success when it comes to relationship building. We all need to know how to make the connections and how to present the right image. We are taught to think in terms of helping each other. How do we measure the net worth of our network?

When you network effectively, you get work. You can measure the results and determine your own networking “net worth”, once you put a systematic process in place.

Donna Messer is an author, speaker and coach, an inspiring and passionate motivator, who has addressed thousands of people on three continents. Her book, Effective Networking Strategies, is a Canadian best seller. Her company is ConnectUs International Inc. To evaluate your network and increase the return on the time invested visit Catch Donna at Cannexus 2011.

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